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New trade expo, food-safety discussions added to ATPC lineup

The America Trades Produce Conference promises to be as relevant as the two prior events, and the third-annual conference, scheduled for March 6-8 at the McAllen Convention Center in McAllen, TX, will add a trade expo and food-safety discussions to the agenda.

As has been the trademark of the event, educational sessions will encourage direct dialogue between the industry and U.S. and Mexican government officials.

"Last year, we had top officials from FDA and SENASICA, including Mike Taylor and Octavio Carranza," John McClung, president of the Texas International Produce Association, a co-host of the event, said in a press release. "We expect that some more details of the Food Safety Modernization Act will be public by March, and just how the new law will affect produce crossings at the border will be a major point of discussion."

The event will also feature receptions and educational sessions on the expo floor in a new and exciting format.

"Attendees will have the chance to view Mexican fruits and vegetables and learn a little bit at the same time," Mr. McClung added in the press release.

This year's conference will bring together individuals and organizations from throughout the produce supply chain and across international borders to discuss the industry's hottest topics, political effects of the new administration in Mexico and other critical topics.

"With the Pena Nieto administration taking over the reins in Mexico, and potentially some new top leadership within the Obama administration, we will have a session that gives a preview of how the industry can expect the governments to interact," Lance Jungmeyer, president of the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas, a co-host of the ATPC, added in the press release. "With the tomato war, immigration and various trade issues in the forefront, it is crucial that our governments work together."

Attendees will include many U.S. and Mexican representatives, including grower-shippers, retailers, processors, allied industry representatives, and city, state and federal government officials.

In addition the new expo and historically dynamic topic and speaker line-up, attendees can participate in a joint tour of the Pharr/Reynosa Port of Entry and the Quanta Lab facility. Throughout the event, several industry awards will also be announced, including The Produce News Rising Star Award, The Packer's Importer of the Year Award and the Produce Business Exporter of the Year Award.

Visit www.americatradesproduce.com to learn more about the conference.